Thirty Athletes Expected For 2017 USA Women’s National Team Training Camp
Twelve Olympic and/or FIBA World Cup gold medalists headline the list of 30 athletes who have accepted an invitation and are available to participate in the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s National Team training camp Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Santa Barbara, California. And, with an eye to the future, five college All-Americans have been included among the training camp roster. Invitations were issued by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee.
“I’m excited to get things going,” said 2017-20 USA Basketball Women’s National Team head coach Dawn Staley (South Carolina). “Obviously, it’s been a few months, so I’ve had a lot of time to think about the things we want to run, and I’m looking forward to putting it in motion. I’m pleased that we got this amount of top quality players committed to this training camp.”
WNBA athletes expected to attend the camp include: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx); Sue Bird (Seattle Storm); Tina Charles (New York Liberty); Layshia Clarendon (Atlanta Dream); Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics); Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings); Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky); Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx); Chelsea Gray (Los Angeles Sparks); Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury); Tiffany Hayes (Atlanta Dream); Jantel Lavender (Los Angeles Sparks); Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm); Kayla McBride (San Antonio Stars); Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx); Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks); Kelsey Plum (San Antonio Stars); Odyssey Sims (Los Angeles Sparks); Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm); Kiah Stokes (New York Liberty); Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury); Morgan Tuck (Connecticut Sun); Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx); Sydney Wiese (Los Angeles Sparks); and Courtney Williams (Connecticut Sun).
Current collegiate All-Americans who will take part in the camp include: Napheesa Collier (Connecticut); Asia Durr (Louisville); Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State); Katie Lou Samuelson (Connecticut) and A’ja Wilson (South Carolina).
The camp will be utilized to help identify and prepare athletes for future USA National Team events, including the 2018 USA World Cup Team, and will mark the USA’s first training camp under Staley’s tenure as head coach.
The USA will train at 10 a.m. (PDT) daily, with sessions at Westmont College on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. On Oct. 2, the USA National Team’s practice will be held at the University of California, Santa Barbara Recreation Center’s Robertson Gymnasium.
Athletes competing in the WNBA Finals will not be available to participate.
All but one athlete (Gray) has prior USA Basketball experience. Combined the participants own 95 gold medals, two silver medals and five bronze medals in official junior and senior level five-on-five competitions, as well as six gold medals and one bronze medal in international 3x3 events. The list is underscored by a total of 23 Olympic and 17 FIBA World Cup gold medals.
Among the Olympians, Bird and Taurasi are four-time Olympic gold medalists; Augustus and Fowles have earned three Olympic golds apiece; Charles, Moore and Whalen have captured two Olympic gold medals; while 2016 marked the first Olympic gold for Delle Donne, Griner and Stewart.
Bird lists as a four-time USA World Cup Team member and owns three gold medals and one bronze medal at the event; Taurasi has two gold medals and one bronze medal in FIBA World Cup play; Charles, Moore and Whalen helped the USA capture the past two World Cup gold medals; Augustus has one gold medal and one bronze medal at the event; while Fowles earned gold in 2010; and Griner, Ogwumike, Sims and Stewart were members of the 2014 USA World Cup Team that returned home with gold medals.
Michelle Clark-Heard (Western Kentucky), Jennifer Rizzotti (George Washington), Sue Semrau (Florida State) and Jeff Walz (Louisville) will be assisting Staley as court coaches during the USA National Team camp.
USA Basketball Women’s National Team
The USA Basketball Women’s National Team will compete in the 2018 FIBA World Cup (Sept. 22-30 in Spain) and, if the USA qualifies, the 2020 Summer Olympic Games (July 24-Aug. 9 in Tokyo), as well as additional USA training camps and exhibition games.
The U.S. and Staley first will look to capture the title at the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup of Basketball, with an automatic berth to the 2020 Olympic Games being awarded to the gold medalist. Should the U.S. not finish with the gold medal in 2018, it would have two additional opportunities to qualify for the Olympics: the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup (dates and site TBD) and the 2020 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD).
USA Basketball Women’s National Team director Carol Callan serves as chair of the USA Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee. The committee also includes three-time Olympic and two-time World Cup gold medalist Katie Smith as the athlete representative; representing the WNBA is the league’s legal counsel Jamin Dershowitz and Los Angeles Sparks general manager Penny Toler; and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma, who coached USA teams to gold medals at the past two Olympics and FIBA World Cups, serves as a special advisor.
FIBA World Cup of Basketball
The USA owns a record nine gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals in FIBA World Cup play, while compiling an all-time 103-21 record at the event. In 2014, the most recent World Cup, the U.S. took the gold medal, while Spain captured silver and Australia won bronze.
Automatically qualified for two of the 16 World Cup slots are host Spain and the USA as defending Olympic champion.
Qualified from the Africa Zone are Nigeria and Senegal; Australia, China, Japan and South Korea qualified out of Asia; Argentina, Canada and Puerto Rico qualified out of the AmeriCup; while Belgium, France, Greece, Latvia and Turkey qualified out of Europe.
The 18th FIBA World Cup format will feature a round-robin competition in preliminary round play with four groups comprised of four teams each. Following the preliminary round, teams will be seeded according to group play, and all participating teams will advance to the round of 16. Winners will advance to the medal round, and the gold medal game will be played on Sept. 30.